SmartThings Community

How to permanently disable Z-Wave Radio?

(Mark) #7

There’s a post towards the end of the thread you linked to that makes a good point. It’s a software switch and there’s probably no guarantee it’ll totally and permanently disable the z-wave radio.

I imagine the only way to be sure is to crack the enclosure open and disconnect the z-wave antenna.

Here are a couple pics of the device intervals they were required to submit to the US Federal Communications Commission to get the device approved for sale. Not sure if that helps.


Thanks for the reply. Well considering I can’t sell it here and no one would buy it from USA if I put it on ebay (postage costs etc.) I am happy to open it and disconnect the antenna. Would that completely disable Z-Wave 100%. It would be if a Moderator from ST confirms. Is there a way to send Private Messages in this forum as I can’t maybe because I’m new??
Also, does someone know if there is a guide or teardown somewhere of ST so I don’t end up breaking anything else inside.

(Mark) #9

I’m not an engineer or anything, but I don’t see how it could transmit without an antenna.

ST staff do sometimes post in this forum, but I’m not sure if any of them will provide that kind of info.

PMs are indeed restricted for very new forum members. If you do a few things such as like a post, add a pic to your avatar or fill in the bio section of your profile it should unlock PMs for you.


Silly question but where will I find the antenna once I crack it open? Don’t see anywhere obvious in the pics you provided link to.

(Mark) #11

Wish I could help you. The pics they posted on the FCC’s website certainly weren’t that extensive.


Thanks anyways you’ve been very helpful. Try looking at this picture, this person is trying to show where the antennas are. I can make out Zigbee and BT antennas but can’t see where he is pointing to for Z-Wave antenna, naybe you can.

(Mark) #13

I think it’s on the back side of the board. If you look at the pic from the FCC website I linked to, there’s something that looks like the shape of the antenna that’s drawn onto the pic you found from that other thread in this forum. The FCC pic isn’t very high-res, but I can just make out the writing next to that spring-shaped object. It looks like it says FCC ID: D87-ZM5304-U.

Take a look at what that FCC ID corresponds to:


It’s this one right? Any ideas on how to safely disconnect it without bricking the ST?

(Mark) #15

Yup that looks like it.

I’d imagine you’d want to desolder the points where the antenna is connected to the board? I’m not quite that much of a DIYer when it comes to electronics, so no guarantees re: risk of bricking :grimacing:

( - Make your home your butler!) #16

First yes you can enable and disable the radio from the IDE under the Hub -> View Utilities:

Second, you can look at the Hub List of Events in your IDE to see if the Z-Wave radio was disabled or enabled (it logs it all):

Third YES there appears to an issue with the firmware, when you disable the Z-Wave module, it automatically re-enables it a moment later. See the logs above. You should report it to ST Support so they can investigate and patch it up.

@duncan @slagle who would be the right person/team to look at this?

(Bobby) #17

…or remove the feature altogether, as it’s not fair for those who want to disable the zigbee…At least with zwave, you have a choice, with zigbee you don’t

( - Make your home your butler!) #18

Would be interesting to know why ST doesn’t allow disabling ZigBee and only Z-Wave

(John C) #19

My hunch: there’s something about the Zigbee controller (a unique ID?) they use for hub identification or a key for something. Or not!

(Duncan) #20

Disabling the Z-Wave is usually used for troubleshooting. It does not persist across reboots and going into Add Device mode will cancel it in the current implementation, so it’s not useful for your situation.

If you don’t use any Z-Wave devices, the only time that the Z-Wave radio would be transmitting is when in Add Device mode, so it probably won’t be an issue to use it as is as long as you never add any Z-Wave devices.

I wouldn’t expect removing just the antenna to mess up the hub. Worst case scenario, the hub tries to restart Z-Wave several times and then gives up.

(Shaun) #21

How do you end up going with this? Was the device bricked? Did it work?


I didn’t end up disabling it or even using it. I want to know if z wave will broadcast or not if I don’t use any
Z wave devices. Are you in NZ or AU?


Are you absolutely sure that if I never add or use any z wave devices ST will never broadcast on z wave frequency. I’m sure you can test that being a firmware engineer. Can you please test as I don’t wanna take any chances?

(Shaun) #24

I’m in the AU and have a smart things hub. I read about the z wave thing before I bought one and figured I could just unplug the antenna. I’m guessing that if your not using any z wave devices and your not trying to pair one, it shouldn’t waste its power output a z wave frequency. That’s my theory.

Shaun Haywood.

(Duncan) #25

It still will transmit on Z-Wave frequencies when in Add Device mode.

It’s not enough to actually get you in trouble or cause problems, but for sure not technically compliant.


If you just happen to be adding a device at the time an NZ ambulance drives by and your transmission interferes with their communication system, you could be in very big trouble. New Zealand takes that stuff very seriously. They even do periodic sweeps for illegal frequency transmissions, something that many other countries do not.